Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Dance of the Insects


   The trek into the meadow was through a dense matt of grasses and, the ever lovely, poison ivy creeped up to meet the sun. Although the weeds and flowers were not the concern of the day. The bees were in full buzz on the warm eighty degree day hoping from one flower to the next, lowering their heads into the bright colors in blossom around them. But, they never stopped to enjoy the sun, the sights, and the sounds around them, but I tried to use all my senses in order to more appreciate what was around me.
   It is a new experience searching threw this meadow near the Goodrich property. Other than the bees and grasses the field can be seen as in the latter stages of succession because of the amounts of bushes and small trees inhabiting the landscape.

Lets Identify

Butterfly Weed (Asclepia tuberosa)

  A proud orange flower in the middle of the meadow makes it, it's home because of the dry soils and the bright sunlight that it gets. The plant is related to the milkweed family, especially looking at the flowers that it produces. But, the plant produces a clear substance unlike its cousins.
  While being a very show plant, they are difficult in establishing. They rely on their long tap root to hold them in place and will disperse their seeds in the air to make sure the next generations appears within the next 2 to 3 years.
  They survive in many different landscapes, adapted to whatever comes their way. Monarchs use the plant to nurture their young but also adult butterflies take advantage of the nectar in the plants.
Asclepias tuberosa - Plant Finder. (n.d.). Asclepias tuberosa - Plant Finder. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum)

   One of the hardest species that was floating around the meadow was the little guy who would finally took a load off for me to take a picture. He is very similar to the ruby-faced, and white-faced meadowhawk. 
   I am slightly confused on why he was fly around the meadow because he is more into moving water (which there was none around). But, he made his appearance with his red abdomen and large clear wings. The dragonfly begins to fly in July and will continue to fly until October. The species is a common one that is seen and it should be admired for its bright colors that it displays.

Lung, M., & Sommer, S. (2001, January 1). Sympetrum internum (Cherry-faced Meadowhawk). Cherry-faced Meadowhawk. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Box Elder/Ash-leaf maple (Acer negundo L.)

   The tree was located almost in the central part of the meadow where it was getting plenty of light. Commonly know as Box Elder the tree is actually a maple but not with its typical leaf shape. The leafs are compound opposite with having 3 to up to 7 leaflets, almost looking like poison ivy. The younger branches seemed to have more leafs have up to 7 leaflets. It resembles a maple but the production of its "helicopter" fruits. But, the tree has spread rapidly causing it to be a weed in some cases because of its rapid growth. 
Lytle, M. (2007, September 4). Acer negundo. . Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa L.)

   Is one of the dominant species of the small meadow. This has been recognized by the distinct smell that it has when disturbed and the square stem that places it into the mint family. The pink/purple flower is in a tube like form that is a great butterfly and bee plant. The plant spreads by both rhizomes and the seeds that it distributes into the soil. The bergamot survives in many different habitats but doesn't mind the extra bit of rain. 
Anderson, K. (2003, May 21). Plant Guide for Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa L.). . Retrieved July 15, 2014, from


Little red dragonfly
Flying around my meadow
My new insect friend

Question of the week?

   Looking around my prairie I see large patches of the purple flower of Wild Bergamot, as well as many different grasses that are the definite dominant species. My grass identification is not at the best so judging by the land and a few features I think it it Timothy Grass that has current hold of the meadow. The meadow is a dry and in a transitional stage of prairie to forest.
   The seeds from the grasses were most likely one of the first species in the meadow. The seeds remained dormant until the had the exposed soil to grow. They were most likely wind dispersed as well from the other grasses surrounding the meadow.
Meadow Plants. (n.d.). Meadow Plants. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

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